In 1940, a young graphic designer called Alex Steinweiss came up with the idea of replacing the plain album covers in use with colored ones, thus inventing the concept of cover art. The first cover artwork he designed was “Smash Song Hits by Rodgers & Hart”, which was released in February 1940. At that time, Steinweiss was art director for Columbia Records. Thanks to Steinweiss’ efforts, the label could increase its album sales remarkably.
There is no second chance to make a first impression – and first impressions do count, especially when it comes to the cover art of your sound carriers! An album cover represents an artist and his/her music, and it is therefore an important marketing tool. The more appealing your cover art is the more chances you have to draw attention to your release.
When you create your cover artwork and upload it, you have to meet specific quality requirements. Your image must not be blurred or pixelated. You need a professionally designed cover art if you want your release to be successful. There are also standard dimensions and specifications defined by stores, such as:
- Minimum size must be 3000×3000 pixel.
- Format must be .jpg.
- DPI must be min. 72.
- Color space must be RGB.
Artist and album name title must be recognizable on your album cover and must correspond to metadata. iTunes and other online stores do not accept links or website URLs on covers. Price indications, references to physical products, e-mail addresses and shop logos are also not allowed. Pornographic contents are forbidden.
Almost all artists and labels have their own logo, as that helps them stand out. Besides, a logo is often a prerequisite for labels to be listed on specific stores. Similarly, there are specific quality requirements to be met.
Do not underestimate the importance of your album cover! The best you can do is have your cover art designed by a professional graphic designer. You can also have your album cover designed by Feiyr. You can find out more in your Feiyr account in the “Graphics” section.